Three-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car winner and 2012 Automobile Club of America Road to the Future winner Courtney Force will be one of 21 featured athletes in ESPN The Magazine’s fifth annual The Body Issue. The 25-year old NHRA Funny Car driver will join Matt Harvey, Colin Kaepernick and Kenneth Faried in the issue. The Inaugural Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals Funny Car winner, Mets' strikeout specialist, the Super Bowl QB and the Nuggets standout rebounder join 17 other elite athletes to be included in ESPN The Magazine's The Body Issue, which hits newsstands Friday July 12.
“This summer I got the opportunity to be featured in the ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue. This was the perfect chance to reach out to millions of people and to shine a light on to the athleticism of our sport NHRA drag racing and to show what it takes to drive one of these nitro burning machines,” said the seven-time Funny Car national event finalist. “It is very important to be both physically and mentally fit when you are driving one of these 10,000 horsepower Funny Cars. Being featured in The Body Issue allowed me to show that race car drivers are athletes too.”
The athlete roster for this year's edition also includes three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings, Marlins' slugger Giancarlo Stanton, and five-time WNBA All-Star Swin Cash. Others baring all are: John Wall, Vernon Davis, John Isner, Sydney Leroux, Carly Booth, Joffrey Lupul, Elena Hight, Agnieszka Radwanska, Chris Sharma and Daila Ojeda, Miesha Tate, Marlen Esparza and Tarah Gieger. Another notable standout: 77-year-old golf legend Gary Player.
“It is important to be confident. Athletes come in all different shapes and sizes. You can’t be concerned with how your body looks as long as you work hard, stay active, and keep yourself physically fit you will be able to achieve your goals,” said Force, who was also featured on the cover of the fitness issue of Autoweek magazine.
“When my fellow competitors and fans see me in ESPN The Magazine’s The Body Issue I hope that they can appreciate the fact that I stepped out of my comfort zone, took a risk and was confident enough to show the strength of our sport. It is about being in shape and being safe in order to drive one of these nitro burning Funny Cars. I want people to look at the story behind the picture and to see what kind of athlete I have grown into and how I have worked hard to achieve my goal of being a professional race car driver.”
John Force Entertainment produced a video highlighting Force’s thoughts on participating in the ESPN Body Issue. Force touches on the athleticism it takes to drive a 10,000 hp Funny Car as well as the added attention this opportunity will bring to her. The video can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/g0gAYVNVyDI
This latest class of Body Issue athletes will join the ranks of A-list sports icons who've appeared in the issue in previous years, including Serena Williams, Blake Griffin, Hope Solo, Rob Gronkowski and Jose Reyes.